This is the story of a 100-year-old company and four generations of the Schmitz family, whose collective entrepreneurship has faced numerous challenges and found solutions to match.
There was never a question of Rotarex (formally Ceodeux) limiting itself to a handful of products or markets. This family business has always striven to innovate its products and production processes, and worked hard to expand a global client base.
This approach enabled the firm to adapt to the numerous economic, social and geopolitical changes which have marked the last century. Openness and innovation were also required when managing acquisitions of international businesses, moves which often led to changes in processes and client relationships.
Rotarex is a Luxembourg company with a global presence. It has nine business units, over 30 sales offices across five continents, with our valves, regulators, and gas control systems sold in more than 150 countries.
The workforce is nearly 2,000 strong, of whom 900 are in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Annual sales will approach €300m in 2022. 3% of the value of this turnover is invested annually into research and development. Spending on new equipment totals around €15M every year.
This investment comes alongside the construction of our new 40.000 m2 plant and headquaters in Bissen scheduled for completion in 2024, and the investment in a new 7,000m2 factory in South Korea.
- 1922 – 1930sINNOVATIVE FOUNDATIONS
- 1939 – 1960sMANAGING POST-WAR GROWTH
- 1976 – 1982NEW DEMANDS, NEW SOLUTIONS
- 1984 – 1990sA GLOBAL PLAYER
- 2000s – PresentCONSOLIDATION AND GROWTH
1922: CEODEUX, the name of the company founded in 1922, started as a carbon dioxide manufacturing operation. Mr Auguste Théodore Schmitz saw growing demand for CO2 and had the idea of building a chemical plant in Lintgen, and distributing the gas in cylinders to breweries and other industrial firms.
1926: After this initial success, Mr Schmitz saw potential for diversification, and in 1926 the firm began producing valves for CO2 cylinders. This innovation was a commercial success, leading to other valves being added for use with oxygen, acetylene, nitrogen, and more. Those products were exported to neighboring countries: Germany, France, Belgium and The Netherlands.
Early 1930s: The product range was extended further, with fire extinguisher valves and water faucets.
- EARLY 1930s
- 1ST LOGO
To understand how our products will operate in the real world, including in extreme conditions, we simulate these environments. We observe static load capacity, crack propagation, frictional contact mechanics and more, enabling us to ensure that our products deliver at all times.
Our in-house prototyping workshop brings bright ideas to life quickly. Tools such high-level computer aided design and 3D printers enable us to show our ideas and prototypes to customers soon after our initial discussions.
We innovate as we test products and components. This ranges from leak detection to oxygen shock tests, through to more complex examinations like high pressure analysis up to 1,000 bar. Aging and endurance tests are also performed, including against temperatures as low as -190°C and as high as +80°C.
Precise electronic components put users in control of how they use gas. We have a department focused on developing tools that do just this by measuring quantities, pressures and flows.
Rotarex innovations start in our four research and development centers, with dedicated departments for materials, simulation, electronics and more. Our technicians consider the require- ments of the application: the properties of the gas in question, where the product will be used, and customer constraints. The product is then designed, with simulations performed to test viability.
Prototyping teams turn these plans into a real sample. This prototype is then taken to our testing laboratory which refines the design.
We work with a wide range of raw materials, including brass, chrome plated brass, stainless steel and alloys like Monel or Hastelloy. This flexibility enables us to find the best fit for the requirements of each application
Our production equipment and automated systems across multiple assembly lines are made by highly qualfied employees working in our internal business unit Automatec. Products for use in ultra-high purity environments are made in our cleanroom facilities where the necessary rigorous cleaning and surface treatment is assured.